Monday, April 1, 2013

Chef Naoko Bento Cafe

Terrific Chef Naoko Bento LunchCarmelita ApartmentsHalibut BentoMenchi Katsu BentoMike's Halibut BentoBerry & Almond TartMike

Hey Mike, why the disinterested look on your face? Was it because I kept asking you too look up from your phone so I can try and focus my new lens (which wasn't working and is going back to the photostore) to capture the glorious moment we discovered Chef Naoko's Bento Cafe? This must have been taken before our lunch arrived, because our meal was amazing! Thanks to our friends who suggested Chef Naoko's cooking because her food is healthy, natural, organic and insanely good. If you want to read about Chef Naoko's history with eating natural foods, which started when she was born, you can learn more here. For us, this bento lunch was simply heavenly.

Mike ordered the halibut with shitake mushrooms and kale bento special which came prepared two ways, but by the time we arrived the broth poached halibut was out and only the cream poached halibut was available. Dairy is on the restricted list, after a bit of explanation he decided to order the cream poached anyways. Boy am I glad he did because the halibut was fantastic, like eating flaky, soft silk!

I ordered the menchi-katsu (mixed vegetable and chicken fried cutlet). The bento box ensured the meal was well balanced with each and every component shining on its own. There was a warm soft tofu topped with a sweet miso paste, a ridiculously simple and delicious salad with barley pearls to add crunch and nuttiness, a slice of sweet folded tamago (egg omelet made with sweet dashi), chopped green beans with a tofu paste, hijiki salad (that Japanese black colored food element) with root vegetables and a mixed brown rice for some heftiness to the meal.

This meal was so healthy, even the berry & lemon tart with almond paste and crust was gluten/dairy/egg free. Not only can we eat this once a week (at least) but I think we will be. The staff had relayed Mike's issues with some of the food items, which prompted Chef Naoko to introduce herself and discuss with us some of our restrictions. I really love living in Portland, for the simple reason that we have farm to table options like Chef Naoko's cafe at our fingertips. Here's to more healthy eating! Kampai!

1 comment:

Kristi said...

I drive by this place all the time and never even think to stop. Thanks for the idea. It looks great!